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Digital industrial key to F&B sustainability

Saudi Arabia, November 8, 2018

JEDDAH —

GE on Tuesday unveiled new findings on how food and beverage manufacturers in the Middle East can achieve major improvements in efficiency, productivity, quality, sustainability, and agility by implementing digital industrial solutions. Released at Gulfood Manufacturing 2018, the white paper is entitled “Digital Transformation: A Bold Future for MENA Food and Beverage Manufacturing.” It examines how regional manufacturers are juggling multiple challenges – including a need to continually improve manufacturing quality and consistency, operational efficiency and productivity, and sustainability, health and safety standards – in an environment of rapidly changing consumer preferences.

The report finds that manufacturers and their partners across the F&B value chain can leverage powerful new digital applications and systems, known as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industry 4.0 or Digital Industrial, to gain a competitive advantage today and prepare for an increasingly dynamic environment in the future.

In the face of rising input and labor costs; increasing demand for flexibility and agility on manufacturing lines; margin pressures that put a premium on process efficiency, productivity, uptime and quality; and a need for greater integration across manufacturing, distribution and retailing, digital industrial solutions can position manufacturers for success. The white paper identifies several Digital Industrial solutions particularly suited to the needs of F&B operators in the region, including Asset Performance Management (APM), Field Service Management, Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), and Digital Twin software.

“In looking at the current state of operations of many food and beverage manufacturers in the region, we see enormous opportunities for major enhancements to operations through the implementation of digital industrial solutions,” said Ali Saleh, Chief Commercial Officer in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey for GE Digital.

“We see that digital solutions can help manufacturers achieve operating efficiencies exceeding 95%, and realizing as much as a 10% reduction in both total cost of ownership and cost of production. While offering companies greater flexibility and a platform for innovating new products and services – and even new business models – digital industrial solutions give manufacturers the tools to deliver better efficiencies and quality for their customers,” he added.

According to the white paper, regional manufacturers can use digital industrial solutions to achieve the following outcomes:

• Improved overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), asset utilization, and throughput

• Higher product quality and gr

eater consistency; lower rates of defects and waste

• Lower energy consumption

• Reduced total cost of ownership

• Enabling the transition from scheduled maintenance to predictive maintenance

• Shorter outage, repair and maintenance times by ensuring that the right engineers are available at the right time with the right equipment, parts, equipment history and repair expertise.

In addition to direct operational improvements, implementing these digital solutions in parallel with a companywide digital transformation creates a powerful platform for innovation. This is realized through new, more effective ways of manufacturing, or through entirely new lines, products or business models.

Also detailed in the paper is GE Digital’s work with Obeikan. Together, the partners are implementing a range of digital industrial solutions across Obeikan’s manufacturing operations. Several of its lines are already implementing these solutions, with the company ultimately looking to achieve auto-pilot manufacturing. Obeikan has also established Obeikan Digital Solutions as part of this partnership, which provides digital transformation services to F&B manufacturing companies in the region.

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